Ssemanda, Mutebi and other boat operators at Kasenyi landing site say the sailors should have first removed the laid fishing nets that had entangled the boat engines before embarking on the journey to Kisaba landing site.
Nine people have survived death after a passenger boat they were sailing with capsized in Lake Victoria last night.
to the Ministry of Works and Transport, nine people who were on the
boat all got off safely and both engines of the boat have been retrieved
by the marine officers.
ministry, in a press statement dated May 5, says the incident involved
a boat which first dropped off some travellers at Lukuba Landing Site
in Kalangala at around 8 pm and on its way to Kisaba Landing Site on
Lake Victoria it got into an accident.
"The boat engines got entangled
in fishing nets, causing one [passengers] to fall into the water. The
boat was then hit by strong winds up to the mainland near Lukuba," part
of the statement says.
survivors, according to eyewitnesses, were saved by rescue teams
comprised of marine police and military personnel, and the local
fishermen in Kalangala who responded to the incident last night and this
survivors, who are largely traders, on Wednesday evening boarded a
boat from Kasenyi Landing site in Katabi town council to Kisaba island
in Kalangala district.
According to the passenger manifest at Kasenyi landing site, the boat departed with 45 passengers and 3 crew members.
to Christopher Mutebi and Dirisa Ssemanda, both boat operators at
Kasenyi landing site, the boat was loaded with different assortments of
shop merchandise en route to Kalangala.
of the passengers disembarked at Lukuba landing site in Kalangala
district while others hopped on to boda bodas cycles and headed for Kisaba
landing site, having got got scared of the strong
winds blowing over the waters. "So only nine people proceeded with the
boat for Kisaba landing site," Ssemanda says.
says the nine survivors however got stuck at night, deep into lake
Victoria between Lukuba and Kisaba landing sites, which are located
about 10 Kilometers apart. The entire trip from Kasenyi landing site in
Katabi Town Council to Kisaba landing site in Kalangala is four hours,
with the longest stretch being Kasenyi to Lukuba which is one of
Kalangala's main landing sites on Bugala island.
Mutebi and other boat operators at Kasenyi landing site say the sailors
should have first removed the laid fishing nets that had entangled the
boat engines before embarking on journey to Kisaba landing site.
says the boat stopped at Lukuba landing site and off-loaded 25
passengers and a large quantity of cargo such as cartons of salt, boxes
of soap, crates of beers among others.
the boat operators , the boat then departed from Lukuba landing site
for Kisaba with seven passengers and cargo like 60 crates of beer and more than seventy 20 litre jerrycans of fuel," Saidi Kayongo, the
chairman Kasenyi landing site says.
He says it was shortly after the boat departed from Lukuba landing site that it capsized in the lake.
The boat belongs to a one Ssengendo, a resident of Kisaba landing site.
urges boat operators and fishermen to use lifejackets because the
Uganda National Meteorology Authority-UNMA weather forecasts indicate
that there will be strong winds over Lake Victoria from April to July
Lwanga, a fisherman at Kisaba landing site who was part of the local
rescue team says when the boat got stuck after its engine failed, the
survivors held themselves on the rocks protruding in the Lake.
says the boat engines got stuck in the laid fishing nets, suddenly
stopping its movement but as the operators tried to cut the nets, the
boat got crushed on the stones due to strong winds that was blowing at
"They were lucky that there are visible stones in area, which the passengers could hold on to," he says.
adds that the rescuers responded after waiting for the boat to
arrive at Kisaba landing site in vain, prompting a search by fishermen,
who later found the wrecked boat and some merchandise floating on the
Bogere, a businessman at Kasenyi landing site estimates that
merchandise worth over shillings 60million capsized with the boat.